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Cover 3: Takeaways from Monday Night Football


The crew reacts to the Giants' 20-17 loss to the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Kansas City:

John Schmeelk: With all of their injuries on the offensive line and at their skill positions (seven of their top players are hurt), the Giants' coaching staff on that side of the ball has a decision to make each week based on the matchup.

They can play a more conservative offensive approach that favors a specialized passing game, featuring a quick-game, max protection, chips, and play-action to supplement the run game. This approach protects against negative plays and potential turnovers that could result from pass pressure against a more traditional scheme. It also results in more reasonable third-down scenarios but puts the onus on converting those third downs, avoiding negative plays that this method will struggle to overcome, and scoring touchdowns in the red zone. This style resulted in a win against Carolina, but did not generate enough points to beat the Chiefs.

If the Giants decided to opt for a more aggressive passing approach with five-man protections and longer drops, the team would probably manage a few more explosive plays. But we also saw that when the Giants had to adopt this approach down 20-17 late in the game, Daniel Jones found himself under pressure late in the game and he was unable to sustain drives. The result could be turnovers that could lead to a blowout defeat.

Both approaches have logical reasoning behind them, so there might be a middle ground in between the two. The team can still opt for the first approach as a general philosophy but mix in a few extra deep shots off play action passes on early downs. Early down passing can help protect a quarterback and offensive line since defensive coordinators are more concerned with the run on early downs and are less apt to utilize some of their more specialized pass rushing schemes.

The Raiders have a Top-10 offense and it is probably going to take more than 20 points from the Giants' offense to win the game. They need to figure out the best way to top that number without exposing the offense to things they can't handle.

Dan Salomone: When you have the opportunity to finish a two-time defending conference champion, you can't leave any wiggle room. The Giants did that on Monday night, their second consecutive loss in primetime that could have been sealed had it not been for a offside penalty. A flag on Dexter Lawrence gave Washington's Dustin Hopkins a second chance for a game-winning field goal on Thursday Night Football in Week 2. This time, Darnay Holmes came close to sealing a victory with a late interception, but it was called back on an Oshane Ximines penalty. The window was left open for Patrick Mahomes to lead one last drive and set up a go-ahead field goal with 97 seconds remaining. Penalties were a big story of the night for both sides. The Giants had 10 penalties for 88 yards; the Chiefs had 12 for 103.

"It's never acceptable to do that," Ximines said of his infraction. "And it goes against everything we're building as a team. We're a team that doesn't like to make mistakes. That's something we really harp on. I'm looking to make up for that."

Lance Medow: The Giants have lost three games this season by three points or less and, no coincidence, those three contests have been their three most penalized games. When you play close games and come up on the wrong end of the score, those mishaps only get magnified. In Week 2 at Washington, they committed a season-high 11 penalties and lost, 30-29. In Week 3, they had eight against the Falcons and fell, 17-14, and Monday night, they piled up 10 in Kansas City, which contributed to a 20-17 setback. The volume is concerning, but the timing of these penalties is the real killer.

With New York trailing by four with 1:36 to go in the second quarter, the Giants had a chance to pull closer right at the end of the first half, knowing they would also receive the ball to start the third with a potential opportunity to double dip. After advancing the ball to their own 45-yard line, the Giants committed three penalties in the span of four plays: false start, holding and delay of game. That forgettable stretch wiped out all momentum and hopes to get, at least, in field goal range and the Giants settled for no points.

Tied at 17 with 7:28 to play, Daniel Jones connected with Eli Penny for 16 yards on a third-down conversion to move the Giants to their own 43 when Penny was called for taunting. The impact on field position was brutal and the drive ended with a punt.

With 4:29 to go in the fourth and New York leading by three, an Oshane Ximines offside penalty negated a Darnay Holmes interception on a 2nd-and-20 from the Kansas City 19. Yes, spoiling a takeaway hurts, but handing the Chiefs five yards in field position also proved costly given, on the very next play, Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce for 14 yards. Add on a Tae Crowder 15-yard face mask penalty and Kansas City quickly went to 1st-and-10 at the Giants 47.

You can debate the substance of the Crowder penalty, but you have to find ways to overcome it.

View photos from the New York Giants' Week 8 matchup on Monday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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